Our Fireside Fridays series is where we have the opportunity to sit down with top B2B revenue leaders for 7 questions and get a behind-the-scenes look at their recommended best practices, their background, and factors that have contributed to their success.  This is our interview with Maria Tribble, VP Enterprise Sales at PathFactory.  

Give us your background in sales

I discovered sales as a young teen in a waterfront cape cod town that had summer craft markets in the garage of the firehouse. That’s where I met my first “sales leader.” He was an enchanting older gentleman who painted the most beautiful watercolors & sold them locally and was wildly successful. That’s where my first business “Sea Glass by Maria” was born & I sat beside him every Saturday watching him and learning the skills and JOY of selling to humans. I have a number of his paintings hanging in my house to this day – reminding me of my humble beginnings.

What’s both your personal, and professional, superpower?

My super power in life is seeing the silver lining in all things. At this point it happens automagically – I have identified so many silver linings from the last year (for example, my 13 year old cooks amazing dinners for us every week night now!) My sister-in-law describes this superpower slightly differently. She explains that from the moment she met me, I’ve “always been chasing positivity.”

What is the biggest challenge today facing a sales professional, and how would you recommend they overcome it?

NOISE/FOMO. There is so much coming at us from EVERY angle.

1. Choose the message channels you want to pay attention to (NOT all of them) and the hours/times you plan to check them.

2. Mute your notifications to allow for deep work.

3. Start each day with 30 minutes on the most important task BEFORE you even read your emails (Recommended reading: The Now Habit by Neil Fiore)

4. Get away from your desk, breath and move your body – use that time to listen to gong calls or podcasts that lift you up or give you new ideas! (Recommended audiobook: The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins)

What’s the best sales or business book you’ve ever read, and why? Are you reading anything now?

I am always reading. I have stacks of books on my desk right now – I can’t stop reading and recommending books to others.

I’m reading a few books by Mel Robbins and Jen Sincero right now – both excellent for anyone trying to break bad habits and focus on what really matters. I’d recommend everyone read “The 5 Second Rule” immediately. I haven’t snoozed my alarm since the day I finished that book.

What’s the best advice you’d give to someone just starting a career in sales or revenue overall within B2B tech?

Brainstorm on companies or an industry you’d love to work for. (examples: HR, Law, Finance, Aerospace, Cybersecurity, Healthcare, Manufacturing)

There’s a professional sales job selling to every single industry! You don’t need to go to law school to be immersed in that industry every day. You don’t need to go to med school to spend every day in a doctors office!

Choose an industry you’re interested in and then specialize in it. Sell marketing technology services to the healthcare industry or ERP technology to a manufacturing companies.

There are many layers to a career in sales. Don’t be afraid to keep peeling back the layers of the onion.

What is one weird/quirky thing about you that most people don’t know?

I’m always humming. Apparently it’s been going on for at least 25 years – my husband only pointed it out to me a few years ago.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a Sales Leader when scaling a business?

Create an Advisory Board that is focused specifically on helping sales – leveraging senior connections of the CEO to create an extra layer on top of sales/marketing. Every CEO has a collection of advisors/mentors who want her/him to be successful and are willing to step in to assist as necessary.
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